Chipper’s toe-tap winds up kicking Braves in the rear

Jeff Francoeur’s excursion to Dallas to work with Rudy Jaramillo, the hitting coach of the Texas Rangers, raised eyebrows and raised Terry Pendleton’s hackles. But how about this? Chipper Jones helps a former Brave with his toe-tap and the former Brave winds up — not to go all Munson on you here — kicking his old team in the gut with a steel-toed work boot.

Nick Green hit a home run off Jeff Bennett to beat the Braves in the ninth inning Sunday. You know that already. But on Saturday Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal described how Green, who came up in the Braves’ farm system and played here in 2004 before being traded to Tampa Bay for Jorge Sosa in 2005, worked out over the winter with Jones and Brian McCann and Francoeur and former Brave Mark DeRosa.

Green noticed three of them — Francoeur being the exception — tapped their front toe before swinging, so as to keep their weight on the back foot. Barbarisi quoted Chipper thusly: “Just think of it as throwing a punch. You get [angry] at some guy, you’re not going to just stand shoulder-to-shoulder and throw a punch. You’re going to draw everything back, and try to get as much into it as you can. Same thing with a baseball.

“When I was young, I used to get out on my front foot. I used to bail a little bit. And my dad said, take the toe tap to overexaggerate and get everything on your back side. Get your foot down, and then explode into the baseball. It’s worked for me.”

At the time, Green was looking for work. He’d bounced from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh to Seattle to the Yankees without settling, and he spent the 2008 season in Class AAA. From Barbarisi’s story, here’s Jones again: “We brought him in [to the workouts] because he was a former teammate, and he came in, he worked just as hard as any of us this offseason. I felt like if he got the chance to play every day that he would produce … I never dreamed he would be playing shortstop for the Boston Red Sox here in the middle of June, but here he is.”

Green signed a minor-league contract with Boston in January. He’s playing because starting shortstop Jed Lowrie is hurt, and the toe-tap he learned from his buddies has helped him hit .293. And on Sunday he bent the 15th homer of his big-league career around the Pesky Pole to beat the team that raised him.

But before you say, “Thanks a lot, Chipper” … be advised that this stuff happens all the time in professional sports. Players help pals, and because guys are forever changing teams, today’s pupil could be tomorrow’s nemesis. It’s the nature of the business.

And it wasn’t as if Nick Green had never hit a walk-off homer before. As Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe noted, he did it as a Brave on July 2, 2004. He did it against the Boston Red Sox.

77 comments Add your comment

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

June 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

Let’s talk about how Francoeur pouted about sitting out Sunday’s game where his relatives were in town. He said he had “one of his best at-bats” on Saturday. Uhhh….

SC Ace

June 22nd, 2009
11:23 am

Let’s hope Chipper is the rare athlete who retires gracefully and then becomes the next Braves hitting coach when his contract is up. Seems to me he sort of serves in that capacity now.

don

June 22nd, 2009
11:25 am

It is good to see Green finally getting a chance to play. He would have never had a chance with the Braves. I think that, as we see many of these castoffs start to excel, we are reminded that the Braves often give up too quickly on prospects. They have a terrible record of dumping prospects for rentals who bring no titles and move on quickly to greener pastures.

Bryan G.

June 22nd, 2009
11:27 am

So, let’s see…McCann, Chipper, Dero, and Green toe tap (and can all hit) and Frenchy does not (and cannot). Hey, Jeff, if you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.

Bravedawg

June 22nd, 2009
11:30 am

Don – the Braves have a terrible record of dumping prospects for rentals? I can only think of two situations (JD Drew/Adam Wainwright, and the Teixeira trade). I can think of many more trades where the Braves completely fleeced people based on “prospects,” like Andy Marte, Jose Capellan, David Nied, Dan Meyer, etc….

And no one would have ever called Nick Green a “prospect.” He was at most a serviceable utility player. And let’s remember the Pirates, Rays, and Yankees all gave up on him too.

Casey

June 22nd, 2009
11:33 am

Thank Chipper?! He should thank Bobby for putting Jeff Bennett in the game!

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

June 22nd, 2009
11:37 am

Bobby did not actually put Bennett in the game; he was ejected. But, there’s no denying that Bennett is now my least favorite Braves reliever. I’m going to start calling him Bob Wickman.

Eric

June 22nd, 2009
11:40 am

Mark, have you ever seen Chipper as ticked off as he was yesterday? Whoa

Appeared to be built up frustration from when he was rung up in the 1st and Ortiz’s pop up that nobody wanted in the 4th (WTH?)

One of those rare baseball games that was painful to watch

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

June 22nd, 2009
11:43 am

Yes we fleeced the Brewers when we got Dan Kolb for Capellan and gave away Nied in the expansion draft. Face it we have not fleeced anyone in years. Maybe McGriff was the last. We gave away Green and are still looking for a 2B, gave away Derosa cause he couldn’t hit here. But he seems to be doing fine after ge got with the Texas hitting coach.

Sammy Davis

June 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

My Friend, The top tap is 1,2-3% of batting posture and learning technique. The rest comes from proper fundamentals and the eagerness and willingness to learn and execute the combined. Those that do not embrace the reqirements will be subject to continuing with the same error prone ways learned in their youth Parkview days.

Bravedawg

June 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

Bank Walker – So, the Renteria for Jurrjens/Hernandez deal was even for both sides? Even Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski admitted that he’d like to have that one to do over again. I’m just saying let’s not get carried away, here. Sure, the Braves aren’t doing well, and all (or most) of us on here would like to see them do better. But the fact that we gave up on Nick Green doesn’t make the list of Top 100 Braves Mistakes of the last 20 years…hell, even the last 5 years.

don

June 22nd, 2009
11:52 am

I believe that Bank Walker, Texas Ranger has a better grasp on reality than does Bravedawg. Bravedawg appears to be an eternal optimist. the Braves would be better served by a few realists.

In 1957, the Braves made a good trade for Red Schoendienst. The Bob Rush trade in 1958 was a decent deal. those are fine memories.

However, the overall impact of trades since 2000 is clearly negative with the Drew trade only surpassed by the Teixeira trade as major debacles. These two trades are undoubtedly the worst in franchise history with the Teixeira trade sitting new levels of incompetency.

Bob Griffin

June 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

Do you remember the headline in the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION back 2004 when Nick Green hit the winning run for the Braves in overtime against the Red Sox? BRAVES FIND NEW GREEN MONSTER !

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
12:00 pm

I don’t remember that headline. But that’s a great one. I’ll ask who wrote it.

Bravedawg

June 22nd, 2009
12:03 pm

Don – please see my comment just above your last one. I’m not saying we’ve never been fleeced. Clearly, we have, and I admit as much in bringing up the Teixeira and Drew deals. Every team has gotten the shaft on a trade here or there. And believe me, I’m nowhere near happy about the current state of the Braves. I’m ticked off that we have at least two (if not more) guaranteed outs in the lineup in Francouer and Kelly Johnson every night.

To reiterate, I think it’s absurd to think that giving up on Nick Green is anything to wring your hands over. That was my point.

the truth...

June 22nd, 2009
12:07 pm

BraveDawg…David Nied was taken by Colorado in the expansion draft, he wasn’t traded. If you remember they also “fleeced” us when the took Castilla along with Nied….surely you forgot.

As to other trades…all you have to do is look around the majors over the past ten years at the successful former Braves on other rosters…remember Millwood and Schmidt…Jason Marquis….

also if you check this article you might see some other evidence as to former Braves being successful elsewhere:

http://www.thomastontimes.com/pages/full_story?article-Former%20Atlanta%20Braves%20Players%20=&page_label=home&id=2644412-Former+Atlanta+Braves+Players&widget=push&instance=secondary_sports_left_column&open=&

Mark Bradley

June 22nd, 2009
12:11 pm

Nick Green didn’t have a job in the majors last season, and he was looking for work over the winter. I don’t see him as one the Braves let slip away.

He’s a utility guy. Period.

Shamus Thacker

June 22nd, 2009
12:13 pm

I heard Frenchy was totally offended by the whole toe-tapping deal. He saw it as a veiled attempt to guide him toward a career in tap-dancing.

Shamus Thacker

June 22nd, 2009
12:15 pm

Guess I should add that Frenchy thought nothing of it till they had him tapping with BOTH feet…

MJM

June 22nd, 2009
12:16 pm

Whats Thurman Munson got to do with anything. Oh I see it’s that other Munson.

Shamus Thacker

June 22nd, 2009
12:22 pm

Charles Munson?

Bravedawg

June 22nd, 2009
12:22 pm

“The Truth…” – You point out guys like Marquis, who you’d have a tough time calling “successful,” and Schmidt, who we gave up for Denny Neagle. Schmidt, while a great pitcher for a time, hasn’t been heard from in years.

Anyway, I guess I’ll have to keep restating my original point. Nick Green is not someone we should be fretting over as “the one that got away.” You argue all the other trades back and forth, but for every Teixiera trade, you should also consider the Renteria trade, or the Hudson trade…etc.

As I’ve already said – I’m not happy with the Braves are playing right now. It took a lot to not throw my remote through the TV yesterday. I’m just saying (yet again), that the crappy state of the Braves is not due to Nick Green.

DHD

June 22nd, 2009
12:30 pm

This is all we have to talk about today? Must be a slow news day.

Ted Striker

June 22nd, 2009
12:52 pm

I always toe-tap my front foot before I press the “Submit Comment” button.

Henry D.

June 22nd, 2009
1:02 pm

“Charles Munson” That was priceless Shamus.

charles

June 22nd, 2009
1:06 pm

Ok, this is not related to the subject but do you think the braves should give up some players such as Jeff Francoeur for Matt Holliday?

gene garbage

June 22nd, 2009
1:07 pm

still sticking with the july 4th prediction mark? you’re way ahead on that one!!!

loved seeing chipper getting fired up, trying to get the team fired up..only to be let down by jeff bennett..who’s had an awful year BTW.

and this is by no means an excuse, but the braves have had a bunch of bad calls against them this year.

Stanco

June 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

What is sooo disappointing is the type of trades……short term return, hoping to catch lightening in a bottle…..and giving away soooo much of our future. Basicly Kotchman for Elvis, Salty, Harrison and the flame thrower still in the minors (a Herschel Walker type trade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It’s one thing if you had a solid team and you are trying to add a piece…but the Braves front office has just been trying to ‘get lucky’

Blizzard

June 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

Charles, hell yeah! Man, why didn’t anyone else think of that?

slow roller to short...6-4-3 double play

June 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

The statement that jumped at me in the article (nice job, by the way MB) was that of the four, only one is mired in his now normal slump…and he’s the one that doesn’t toe tap, or anything else, to stay back on a baseball. These aren’t Brookwood High pitchers anymore, Jeff.

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
1:29 pm

Chipper taught me to toe tap which is why i blog like a bada$$.

Tami

June 22nd, 2009
1:34 pm

What irony….commenting on the closing paragraph. I say: CHIPPER FOR BRAVES’
HITTING COACH!!! In that way, he can save his knees, feet and whatever else is ailing him and maybe correct everyone else’s slump in the lineup!

gem dawg

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

I still think the Brett Butler, Jacoby, Behenna for Len Barker trade was the worst in Braves history. We spent years looking for a leadoff hitter after that and Barker never produced anything but a sore arm for us. After 25 years, that trade still gives me indigestion.
The reason they won’t trade Holliday for Jeff Francouer “or players like him” is their GM wants to keep his job. Frenchy is a “speculation” type trade, a project player the way he’s playing now.

G.I.D.P.

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

Trade Escobar. Big ego, bad attitude, screw-ups coming more and more frequently. Plus, we’d get more for him. Throw Frenchy in if they want him.

Marilyn Munson

June 22nd, 2009
1:47 pm

The Great Doyle Alexander for some snot-nosed kid prospect was a horrible trade …

gg

June 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

The All Currently-Playing-and-Producing Former Braves Team:
C…SALTALAMACCHIA
1B..TEXIERA/LAROCHE
2B..GREEN
SS..FURCAL/RENTERIA
3B..DEROSA
LF..SHEFFIELD
CF..JONES/ANDERSON
RF..DYE/DREW
SP..WAINWRIGHT
SP..MILLWOOD
SP..MARQUIS

A pretty good team. I’m sure there are more.

dude

June 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm

Chipper IS the GREATEST BRAVE of all time!

fradz

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Just the intro, which sounds as if, Chipper has done something in real time, hurting the team, because he is less than loyal, shows how low the AJC will go to sell a cageliner.
This is a non-story. It should have never been printed.
The AJC is a worthless rag, and this ‘writer’ cannot get a job elsewhere.

dude

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Did yall see him fightin for us yesterday? Made me proud of OUR GUY!!!!!
That ump looked scared.

Bravedawg

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

I would argue that just about every team could make a near all-star club with their “castoffs.” I have a friend who’s a lifelong Pirates fan, and their list is a helluva lot longer than ours. With that being said, I sure do wish we had Adam Wainwright and any of the 4 guys we gave up for Teixeira. But I’d take McCann over Salty, Chipper over DeRosa, Escobar over Furcal/Renteria (they’re both batting .249 this year)…again, for every one you get ripped off on, you return the favor.

Instead of the trades we’ve screwed up on, I would be interested to see what trades we may make (if any). Will anyone take Francouer? Are the Braves ready to give up on Escobar? Would anyone take Kelly Johnson? We’ve got to get some more punch in the offense (yeah, I know, understatement of the day). I’m not worried about Chipper or McCann. You’re getting what you’d expect from Kotchman (he is hitting .270). I think GA is starting to (and will continue to) come around, and McLouth was a great pickup. We’ve just got such huge holes in the other spots in the lineup, because KJ and Francouer are guaranteed outs every time up to bat.

Sleeze

June 22nd, 2009
1:58 pm

Overheard from Terry Pendleton: “Now Chipper.. tell me again how this toe tapping thing works”.

charles

June 22nd, 2009
2:04 pm

Hey G.I.D.P. even if they trade escobar you end up with inexperienced people playing shortstop. so why not keep him, he is a young player with still alot to learn and we gave frenchy a chance so he atleast deserves a chance to pull out of it. And i agree with you on francoeur, he had his chance , hes done , get rid of him.

Bill

June 22nd, 2009
2:22 pm

Mark how many AAA players are on the Braves roster right now

I say these guys.
K.Johnson
Diaz
Prado
Francouer
Bennett.

Feel free to add more

jeffrey d

June 22nd, 2009
2:25 pm

Hey gg I wouldn’t call a lot of those players “producing.” Salty, Laroche, Furcal, Renteria, JD, Andruw, and Anderson are all pretty underwhelming.

As far as Nick Green – you guys are acting like he would’ve been the savior of this 2009 offense because you saw him hit ONE homerun (and that was off Jeff Bennett). He’s a decent utility guy and a career .250 hitter.

charles

June 22nd, 2009
2:30 pm

Hell yeah Jeffrey d !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 22nd, 2009
2:41 pm

Gem Dawg @1:44

Agreed on the Barker trade. The Braves spent years looking for a leadoff hitter before Butler came up. Then they traded him away and spent years looking for one again. Brook Jacoby was a decent player too. I always felt that trade was made in panic mode.

Shane (The original)

June 22nd, 2009
3:00 pm

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger
Face it we have not fleeced anyone in years.

Man the ignorance of Braves fans of their own team is awful. Ok we traded Edgar Renteria for wait for it wait for it Jair jurjjens and we also got Gorkys Hernandez in the traded who we just used to get Nate McClouth. So basically we got JJ and McClouth for Renteria. That was a first class fleecing.

Shane (The original)

June 22nd, 2009
3:05 pm

1:48 pm

The All Currently-Playing-and-Producing Former Braves Team:
C…SALTALAMACCHIA ( Not very good. OPS + of 78 which is terrible. Not in McCanns League
1B..TEXIERA/LAROCHE
2B..GREEN ( AAA player having the year of his life. Will be back in minors very soon)
SS..FURCAL/RENTERIA ( Renteria stinks and Furcal is getting booed nightly in LA )
3B..DEROSA ( Having a good year )
LF..SHEFFIELD ( 56 years old. Will not last much longer )
CF..JONES/ANDERSON ( Both of these players are terrible )
RF..DYE/DREW ( Always wish we would have kept Dye )
SP..WAINWRIGHT ( Ditto Wainwright was traded for Drew above. Bad move )
SP..MILLWOOD ( Not very good )
SP..MARQUIS ( Ok but a real head case )

A pretty BAD team. I’m sure there are more.

slow roller

June 22nd, 2009
3:07 pm

Nick Green played well over the weekend. Does anyone know exactly how Nick Green got “invited” to the Red Sox camp? When was the last time the Braves “invited” a decent non-roster player to camp who made the team?

Bubba

June 22nd, 2009
3:09 pm

The Braves have two things going against them: 1). Management’s failure to realize that they’ve needed more than a “tweak” for several years now. It’s disappointing to see our “farm system” playing so well elsewhere while management vastly overestimated our “stable” here. 2). Lack of management’s interest in putting together a winning team. “Successful” is more than putting fans in the stands. Successful also means fielding that is competitive and, more to the point, hungry. Fans would pay more readily to see a hungry team lose than to see a bloated team try to win. Hungry teams don’t stop until they’re full. Bloated teams go through the motions.

I’m beginning to think the Falcons are the big boys in Atlanta not because of football (though it does help in the Deep South) but because Arthur Blank is calling the shots. Success or failure, he’s the one trying to win. The rest? Corporations who view professional sports in Atlanta as a tax write-off that occassionally makes money. Ted used to say, “Do what you can to win. Whatever it takes.” Liberty Media says, “Oh yeah, we own a team, don’t we?” The Spirit Group? There’s no “fun” in their dysfunction.